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NYPL’s Outdoor Storytelling Festival Wraps up Another Successful Season

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Each summer NYPL children's librarians gear up for an outdoor storytelling festival at Bryant Park and in Central Park at the Hans Christian Andersen Statue. Lively, interactive and funny tales are shared with audiences of all ages.

This summer Bryant Park introduced a new mascot, its pet herbivore, Pill the Caterpillar, portrayed by Stephanie Acevedo. Stephanie introduced her favorite book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, to the children. She concluded the morning by leading the children on a march around the "Reading Room" to dance tunes of the '80s. Children, including those from day camps danced and sang with much excitement.

This season's captivating selection of stories included:

The Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald, a funny story about a boy frightened by a squeaking door at bedtime as told by Rebecca Dash of Bloomingdale Library.

Lorraine Tauches of the Muhlenberg Branch presented the classic African trickster tale, Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock, as retold by Eric Kimmel.

John Peters, the recently retired former head of the Children's Center at 42nd Street, shared the Elephant in a Well by Marie Hall Ets, a great tale about six animals who try to pull an elephant out of a well unsuccessfully until a rabbit shows up to help; Too Much Noise, by Ann McGovern, a clever tale about a man who thinks his house is too loud.

Mary Ann Corrier, Librarian Emeritus, told "Timo and the Princess Vendla," a Finnish folktale from Phyllis Fenner's Princess And Peasant Boys.

Helen Broady, of the 115th Street Library, told Why the Sky is Far Away, a Nigerian folktale and Rabbit's Gift, a fable from China.

Chad Quartuccio, Librarian Emeritus presented "Alligator's Sunday Suit," "Ghost with One Black Eye," "Boogie Woman" and "The King with the Dirty Feet."

Rebecca Gueorguiev, of Great Kills Library told "The Belly Button Monster," from More Ready-to-Tell Tales from Around the World by Olga Loya and "Jack and the Robbers," from Richard Chase's The Jack Tales.

Sue Yee, of the Chatham Square Library, told "The Wolves, The Goats and the Kids," "The Smart Shopper," "The Key" and "The Lightbulb" from Drawing Stories From Around the World and a Sampling of European Handkerchief Stories by Anne Pellowski.

Uptown at Central Park we were joined by outstanding special guest storyteller, LuAnn Adams who presented one of her most popular programs: The Mouse that Barked and other Delightful Tales of Good Deeds & Second Chances. Ms. Adams told tales from around the world: "Tipingee," a tale from Haiti, Brave Little Red, a version of Little Red Riding Hood, Tacky the Penguin, by Helen Lester, and "The Mosquito Love Story," an African tale.

Storytelling at the New York Public Library is a proud tradition dating back to the early 1900s when it was spearheaded by Anne Carroll Moore who was the first head of children's services at NYPL. Since then, NYPL children's librarians have been trained in the skill of telling stories in library programs with the purpose of promoting children's literature and nurturing a love of reading.

A deep thanks to all our participating storytellers who brought such joy to the children. And a special thanks to the fabulous folks at Central Park and at Bryant Park who welcome us back each year.

Follow us on Twitter @nyplkids for information about upcoming children's events at The New York Public Library.